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St Leonard's vet made £200,000 of fake surgery insurance claims
7:30am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
A veterinary surgeon who conned three insurers out of almost £200,000 has been jailed for two years.
Matthew Morgan, who worked in St Leonards, had previously admitted to making a total of 53 bogus insurance claims to four insurers – Direct Line, Petplan, Pet Protect and one other – for dogs and cats that he claimed had undergone surgery between September 2009 and December 2012.
To make his claims appear authentic, the 38-year-old sent the insurers invoices from his then workplace – a veterinary practice in Kent.
He then used the payouts to fund a lavish lifestyle that included expensive holidays and electronics.
But Morgan came unstuck in October 2012 when his one and only claim to Direct Line for surgery on a cat called Jo, was identified as fraudulent and referred to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), kicking-off a criminal investigation.
In an interview with IFED detectives on New Year’s Eve, Morgan admitted that the claim to Direct Line was phony, but said he had not made any other fake claims.
However, 15 days later during January this year, Morgan telephoned Pet Protect to chase up a claim he had made for surgery on a cat called Dizzie.
IFED detectives subsequently arrested Morgan at his then home in Foxborough Road, Redhill.
They searched his home and new work place – a veterinary practice in St Leonards, East Sussex – where they found documents that led them to uncover other fraudulent claims.
IFED’s financial investigator later examined Morgan’s bank account and found payments from Petplan, Pet Protect and one other insurer totalling almost £200,000.
Further interrogation of his account showed that every time money was received from an insurer he would treat himself.
Morgan was charged with, and later pleaded guilty to, four counts of fraud by false representation, in that he made 53 fraudulent claims to four insurers with a total value of £226,360.67.
Appearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, August 23, Morgan was sentenced to two years for each of the four counts of fraud by false representation, to run concurrently.
DS Craig Mullish, who ran IFED’s investigation, said: “Morgan was paid a good salary to help sick animals, but over three years he systematically abused his position.”
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